Stealth BioTherapeutics Presents Data of Novel Compound, SBT-589, in Friedreich's Ataxia Cardiac Models at the Wellcome Trust Mitochondrial Medicine Conference

19 Mar 2024
Phase 3
SBT-589 showed mitochondrial protection across models of Friedreich's ataxia
SBT-589 displayed cardioprotective effects in aggressive mouse model of FA cardiomyopathy
Ongoing studies are expected to build on these insights as SBT-589 progresses through developmental stage-gates
NEEDHAM, Mass., March 19, 2024 /PRNewswire/ -- Stealth BioTherapeutics Inc. (the "Company" or "Stealth"), a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for diseases involving mitochondrial dysfunction, announced today the presentation of new SBT-589 data demonstrating cardioprotective effects across pre-clinical models of Friedreich's ataxia (FA). The data were presented at the Wellcome Trust Conference on Mitochondrial Medicine – Therapeutic Development, held March 18-20, 2024, in Cambridge, England.
FA is a chronic disease of metabolic disruption that is typically diagnosed in childhood or adolescence, is inexorably progressive and usually results in premature death from cardiomyopathy or heart failure. There are no approved therapies for the progressive cardiomyopathy, which is linked to severe mitochondrial dysfunction, and is the leading cause of early death in this devastating disease.
SBT-589 is a promising novel molecule that acts on mitochondrial pathways essential for cellular health and energy production that are impaired in FA cardiomyopathy. To evaluate the potential of SBT-589 in FA, a series of studies were conducted in FA patient-derived cells, isolated heart mitochondria, and an aggressive mouse model of FA cardiomyopathy. SBT-589 improved bioenergetics in FA patient-derived cells and mitochondria. In an FA mouse model with prominent cardiac hypertrophy and aggressive mortality, mice treated with once-daily SBT-589 displayed significantly reduced cardiac hypertrophy and a delay in the onset of mortality compared to vehicle-treated mice.
"Mitochondrial dysfunction is a central contributor to pathology in Friedreich's ataxia, a disease in which heart failure and sudden cardiac events are among the leading causes of mortality," said David A. Brown, Senior Vice President, Discovery. "Mitigating heart disease in FA is central to Stealth's ongoing efforts to improve the lives of individuals with FA. The new findings presented today support continued development of SBT-589 as a potentially disease-modifying therapy to address the unmet need in cardiomyopathy associated with Friedreich's ataxia."
The data were presented by Dr. Laura E. Kropp, Senior Manager of Discovery Biology at Stealth, and recipient of the Keith Michael Andrus Cardiac Award from the Friedreich's Ataxia Research Alliance.
Friedreich's ataxia is a rare genetic disease affecting an estimated 1 in 50,000 individuals in the United States. The disease is caused by a defect in the frataxin gene resulting in a relative deficiency of frataxin, leading to mitochondrial iron accumulation and oxidative stress. More than 90% of patients with Friedreich's ataxia experience progressive cardiomyopathy which usually becomes fatal by early adulthood and is the leading cause of early mortality.
Stealth BioTherapeutics is a clinical-stage biotechnology company focused on the discovery, development, and commercialization of novel therapies for age-related and rare genetic diseases involving mitochondrial dysfunction. The Company is initiating Phase 3 clinical trials of elamipretide, its lead investigational product candidate, in dry age-related macular degeneration. Elamipretide is also being tested in a fully enrolled Phase 3 clinical trial in primary mitochondrial myopathy, a rare skeletal myopathic disease caused by nuclear DNA mutations, and is the subject of a New Drug Application for Barth syndrome, an ultra-rare cardioskeletal disease. The Company is evaluating its second-generation clinical-stage candidate, SBT-272, for ophthalmic and neurological disease indications. The Company has a deep pipeline of novel mitochondria-targeted compounds under evaluation as therapeutic product candidates. Several of these lead compounds, including SBT-589, have progressed through pre-clinical development stage-gates and toward IND-enabling studies.
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